By Gregory Horvath, KPMG LLP
Automation is a hot topic, and something we’re all coming to expect in our personal lives -- from our homes, banks and retailers -- and now inside our workplace. A new report issued by KPMG LLP and ServiceNow surveyed 275 attendees at the Knowledge14 conference in San Francisco to gain insight into how IT professionals can use automation to boost productivity, reduce and avoid redundancies, and improve overall service quality. Many respondents work on the front lines of enabling service transformation across their organizations.
Here are top ways they saw that IT teams could impact their businesses:
Become a driver of enterprise-wide services. More than 93 percent of respondents said the role of IT has evolved from the role of infrastructure administrator to a driver of enterprise services. With the advent of the cloud, many infrastructure responsibilities can be managed outside the firm, and IT can be delivered as a service. Having experienced this service-centric transition in their operating models, IT now sees opportunities to extend this service expertise beyond their organization. Many believe IT can play a key role as enterprise service experts, who can deliver automated enterprise-wide services through consumerized "self-service" portals that span IT, human resources (HR), facilities and other departments.
Replace email with automation for "request-and-fulfill" services. Nearly 90 percent of respondents agree that many business processes conducted over email could be better run by service automation. Of the respondents, three-quarters said at least half of their company’s business processes still rely on email instead of service automation; a significant amount that presents a great opportunity to streamline corporate processes. The survey revealed near unanimous agreement (98 percent) that IT teams can leverage the familiar service model they work in to improve the quality and efficiency of other departments’ "request-and-fulfill" services.
Look to HR, facilities and purchasing as the first departments to automate. Almost 56 percent of survey respondents stated that HR was the best department outside of IT to start with in extending service management capabilities beyond IT. Roughly 23 percent chose facilities for services management, followed by 13 percent for purchasing departments.
With infrastructure management responsibilities and overhead shifting to the cloud, IT teams have an unprecedented opportunity to deliver strategic value to their organizations by adopting automated services and processes. IT teams can become change agents to drive greater automation across their companies.
Greg Horvath is a director in KPMG’s CIO Advisory Services practice, providing clients with deep, first-hand experience in framing and managing leading-edge performance-improvement strategies and programs. His experience spans 28 years with the chemical industry and IT leadership with particular emphasis on IT service management, IT financial management, M&A transaction implementation, shared service governance and IT risk assessment and assurance.